Wishing you all a beautiful 2012 filled with wonders, adventures and. . . lots of dreams and wishes.
We're so happy we were able to share this past year with you!
From our family to yours, Happy New Year!
I have been in the Pacific Northwest for a week now, and up until yesterday it was absolutely gorgeous here. Sunny and green, and filled with special moments. But yesterday the rain came, and with it a lot of wind. I could see the tall evergreens waving back and forth, holding on to their roots and branches with all they had... it was quite a sight!
Thankfully though, when I woke this morning the wind was gently blowing, trees were softly dancing with it, with the birds chattering away. There was just something about being there, in that moment, watching the clouds swoop by that was so serene, so still and yet fleeting...
...my favorite kind of little moments.
*Last time in Knowing Green: Light and Dark
The first day of winter arrived bringing a foot of snow with it.
Wild hare were huddling underneath the hay barn floor...
... and tunneling under the barn door.
You can see just how much snow came down, as it piled up on the lights. The soft light of the bulb brought a sweet glow to the barn, providing the allusion of warmth.
Every stall in the barn is full with horses or sheep, both sharing with the wild hare snuggling into the corners for warmth. Nellie the old goat has her red vest on, a red blanket both topped off with my down vest. She is then covered with a old horse blanket, she should stay warm tonight as it heads towards zero.
To shelter in a storm, may we all find warmth and good company this coming year...
*Last time in Barn Stories: Mischief Makers
Last week was a busy one. So I woke up early one morning to try and get some extra things done before the day got going. I had heard there was a full lunar eclipse happening, but that where I live, we would not see much of it before the moon set and the sun rose. I decided to take a peak outside anyway, and am I ever glad I did!
Hovering above the horizon as if it just had to show us the whole thing, the moon sat, cast little by little in shadow.
The timing was perfection, just as the moon hit the mountains, the eclipse was almost complete. It was as if the moon had disappeared before it even set.
Contrasting this amazing sight on the other side of the horizon, the sun was slowing coming up. I think perhaps the sun and the moon had a little conversation that day, and agreed that a sort of balance was in order.
This time of year the days are shorter and shorter and the nights ever longer, but with the winter Solstice fast approaching, maybe the light and the dark decided to let each other have equal time to shine....
P.S. Head on over to The Write Start post to see the winners of the giveaway!
*Last time in Nature: Cloudy Skies
Here in my neck of the woods, it's officially cold. A few warmer days have crept in here and there, but on the whole, the cold has come to stay. But that doesn't necessarily mean it has to be cold inside too...
... I mean really, is there any better way to warm up a house or a chilly disposition than warm, gooey, uber chocolaty cookies?
Especially ones rolled in even more cocoa and raw sugar...
... left a little gooey in the center...
And shaped to resemble lumps of coal? I'm pretty sure even the naughtiest ones on the list would turn nice for this delectable cookie.
Tucked into a paper bag, and nestled at the bottom of a stocking, these deceptive little bites of magic can even bring a smile to Scrooge's face.
Coal Cookie Ingredients:
1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter
1 1/3 cups (10 ounces) brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder
1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup (2 ounces) Dutch-process cocoa
1 1/2 cups (6 1/2 ounces) King Arthur 100% Organic White Whole Wheat Flour or King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips*
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets, or line them with parchment, the recipe makes 36 cookies.
In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, baking powder, espresso powder, vanilla, and salt. Add the eggs, beating until smooth. Stir in the cocoa powder, then the flour; the dough will be stiff. Mix in the chocolate chips, or the chips/raisins/nuts.
Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes (on a baking sheet); they'll look not-quite-done in the center. Remove them from the oven, and allow the cookies to cool for about 10 minutes. Gently squeeze and shape the cookies into uneven balls, to resemble chunks of coal.
*Note: To really bring out the geologic quality of these yummy cookie bites, mix two tablespoons of cocoa powder with a cup of raw or course sugar and roll the raw dough in it before baking. *Recipe modified from King Arthur Flour
These cookies are a breeze to make, and even more fun to eat! Just be warned, the cocoa powder will get everywhere...
P.S. Don't forget to enter our book giveaway of The Write Start!
*Last time in Recipes: Scents of the Season